Gases accumulate inside when you cannot pass them out through belching or flatulence. It distends your stomach rendering a bloated feel.
Intestinal gases can accumulate under the following conditions:
- Swallowing of too much air while eating or drinking
- Smoking pipes, cigarettes, sucking chewing gums
- From improper digestion of fibrous foods, spicy foods, sugars, dairy etc
- Side effects of pills like calcium tablets
- From caffeinated and carbonated drinks, acidic fruits like oranges, grapes, gas causing vegetables (cabbage, cauliflowers), beans, etc.
- Could be due to Crohn’s disease, IBS, GERD, etc.
- Bloating in stomach
- Abdominal pain which can move upward to the chest
- Belching, burping or flatulence
- Indigestion and acidity
Intestinal gases can be treated well with home remedies. However, if you are suffering from gas problems regularly along with abdominal pain, vomiting and weight loss then you must consider seeing a doctor. The reason- you never know there could be an uncertain medical emergency!
Your doctor might consider intestinal gas as something serious. The diagnosis begins with evaluating the foods you eat, lifestyle and history of intestinal complications or if you are taking any medicine.
He/she would also feel your abdomen manually. An abdominal X-ray would be suggested. Barium swallow for upper gastrointestinal series followed by X ray and gastric emptying studies might also be carried out.
If your doctor suspects some abnormality in the colon or intestine, then you will have to undergo endoscopy. This is especially suggested to people over 50 years of age and who are at risk of colon cancer.
There are several treatment options for intestinal gas which are completely dependent on the underlying cause
Medicines: You can have an OTC pills to deal with the discomfort or your doctor would be suggesting some prescription drugs for a certain period. Simethicone is an anti-gas pill.
Antibiotics are recommended for bacterial infections.
Enzymes: You will be advised to take certain enzymes along with meal when circumstances of lactose intolerance, pancreas insufficiency, etc. It could be lactase, pancreatic enzymes or alpha-D-galactosidase.
Surgery: It might be opted for if test reports have shown any abnormality in the anatomy of the intestine, esophagus, colon, etc.
However, apart from these you need to be extremely careful about your diet to avoid gas problems in the future.
Modification in diet: You need to cut down eating all those foods that cause stomach gas. Get a diet chart from your doctor and follow it strictly
Avoid keeping your stomach empty for a long time, especially if you are suffering from gastritis problems. Drink cold water periodically to soothe your stomach.
Resort to the natural remedies if you suffer from gas pain all of a sudden. You can drink a glass of water mixed with one teaspoon lemon juice and a pinch of baking soda or 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.
Lastly, keep OTC medicines for gas in handy. However, make sure you do not pop in every time you suffer from intestinal gas.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 09, 2014